Drew Munro, writing in the Sky High Daily News says "Keep your powder dry: No one's taking our ammo." The op-ed pooh-poohs rumors of Obama's designs upon our firearms and ammunition. Which, of course, begs the real question -- Why is the shortage happening and does responsibility for it belong to Obama or not? So I sent Drew an email response. Here it is.
You asked the wrong question. Is it Obama? No. Or, is it Obama? Yes.
Focusing on anecdotal gun control rumors as a convenient straw man begs the real question: Why ARE firearms and ammo sales so unnaturally brisk that market forces continue to produce shortages? The reason is not Obama "the rumor" but rather the real Obama and the perceived existential threat his policies -- which are certainly NOT rumors -- pose to all of our futures. This is why much of the present shortage can be explained by first-time purchasers including liberals. My own anecdotes from gun shop conversations with first-time purchasers, including folks of all races:
1. Monetizing the debt will lead to hyper-inflation. Real property maintains value, paper does not. Thus, firearms and ammunition are a safe store of value and good investment. Not to speculatively sell for profit later on, but to preserve present wealth against a Weimar/Zimbabwe inflationary future.
2. Obama's economic policies -- trading future debt for "stimulus" that goes mostly to government which creates no jobs, printing money, destruction of rule of law in auto bailouts, etc. -- bode for greater crime and even social upheaval. Said one new gun owner (black) who voted for Obama: "Look at Katrina. Most of the cops ran off and the rest looted themselves." He blamed Bush policies of course but his bottom line was "I've got a family to protect and if the cops won't be there . . ."
3. Another self-described "social liberal" (white this time) who voted for Obama: "You know what scares me? The President's supporters have their expectations up so high -- 'Obama's gonna make my car payment, give me more money and set me up in a big house.' -- that when they find out he can't deliver, they'll take it out on anybody and everybody." His point, if masking an assumption that black folks are more predisposed to violence than whites, still comes straight out of Sociology 101 -- revolutions happen when sudden up-ticks in societal expectations are frustrated. In his analysis, it is Obama's supporters and not his opponents who pose the real threat to civic order. And he voted for the guy.
4. The "somebody's gonna end up shooting his ass" theory, expressed by both blacks and whites. For the first time since the 60s, the prospect of massive riots and race war -- this time three sided -- looms. People who admit this as a possibility usually understand that being unarmed in the middle of a race riot is a bad thing which can lead to severely unhappy individual outcomes.
So, is it the rumored Obama? No. Is it the real Obama and the fearful expectations of where his policies are leading? Yes.
Remember, this is a deeply-riven society consisting of sharply divergent -- even polar opposite -- world views over things like life, individual liberty, property, the rule of law. It does not take much to spark civil war in such circumstances. And if you pooh-pooh that idea, you're whistling past the graveyard of history.
It could well be that the people you ridicule may simply see the future clearer than you. In which case, you will discover that the real panic will begin when the rest of the population discovers by watching the television indoors and smelling the smoke outdoors that they need a firearm RIGHT NOW. Of course, there will be none to be had. THAT will be the real panic.